Internet Video Series, Part 2

 

Episode 13, Segment 02 of 03


In order to communicate with any of these hardware modules, you will need to know it's IP address.


All of these modules will have one IP address taken from a related group of addresses assigned to your Local Area Network. Usually these addresses begin with 192.168.0 dot something, or 192.168.1 dot something. Usually your primary router will take the first address from those blocks, so most routers can be addressed either as 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. The IP addresses of your other equipment will follow the same pattern (192.168.x.2, 192.168.x.3, 192.168.x.4, etc).

Your - routers - will have - two or more - IP addresses. (Your PCs will refer to the router's local IP address as their "default gateway" address). In addition to that - Local - IP address, a - second - IP address will come from a group associated with the "upstream" (or - "Wide Area") network representing your path to the Internet. Usually you need only be aware of a single such - "upstream" - IP address, and it will be assigned by your ISP to your primary router. In that case, this second IP address is sometimes called the router's - "remote" - or - "Internet" - IP address, because it is the - "Internet-facing" - address that remote, Internet computers must use to communicate with any of the services or client applications in your network. If your Internet Service Provider uses the popular - "dynamic IP addressing" - scheme, then this second IP address will change from time to time (especially if you turn your router off for a few hours).

Some routers allow your browser to address it (for administrative purposes) by browsing either to the local IP address or to it's - "remote" - or "Internet" IP address. If your router accepts administrative connections from both addresses, you should only use the - "Local" - one, and once you are connected you should look for menu options to disable browser management connections through the "remote" address so that evil people and evil programs on the Internet are excluded. Router management from the Internet should only be enabled under brief, carefully monitored, emergency situations as requested by authorized Technical Support personnel, and the password that they must enter in order to gain access should be changed immediately thereafter and never used again.

As your Local Area Network grows and develops, you will become aware of the general format of the local IP addresses used by all of your equipment, because they will all be very similar, and each new address will be prominently displayed at some point during each installation procedure. There will also be occasional references to each of your IP addresses thereafter. You should write down a list of these IP addresses, keeping it up to date and located in some convenient place for easy reference.

When you want to access your router or some other item of network equipment, fire up your favorite browser and - "browse" to it exactly the way you would browse to any other web site or web server. Enter the associated IP address in the "Address" field and press "Enter" or click "Go".

For example, if you are using Microsoft's popular "Internet Explorer" browser and if your router's local IP address is 192.168.0.1, then you would enter information like this:


 

Within a few seconds you should see a display requesting a username and password. At that point you'll need to consult the equipment's documentation to learn the proper values. Most equipment expects you to enter a username like "admin" or "administrator". Sometimes the expected name is "root". You'll just have to look it up, along with the - "default" - password (which you'll have to use the first time, but you'll find prominent menu options with which you should change it to something that's unique to yourself). Thereafter, the original - "default" - password will never be needed again, and you can forget it unless your equipment ever gets so messed up that you are forced to consult your documentation again to implement some bizarre procedure (usually involving tiny hardware switches) to reset it back to - "factory default" - settings.

 


Episode 13, Segment 03 of 03